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I have a small indoor aquaponics system set up in my apartment that is powered by a 55 gallon aquarium and has 2 - 20 gallon grow beds on top.  I have bell peppers, tomato's, spinach and romaine lettuce currently growing under a 175 Watt HID Sun Systems grow light. The plants have only been growing in the beds for less than 10 days. I realize that my 175 Watt HID light may be insufficient to successfully produce fruit....

Can anyone suggest an economical way to supplement my lighting to have the best possible success with my current circumstances?

I currently have my light for sale on CL for $50, if I sell it I'd need to replace it immediately with a 400 or 600 Watt HID....I was hoping I could potentially add some T5's or something similar while keeping the 175 Watt in place.

I attached some images of what my setup looks like.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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Personally, I think a 400 or 600 watt HID light system would be overdoing it for your system. A 400 watt metal halide bulb system covers a 4ftx4ft grow area at the height of 3 or 4 feet. (I've used 400 watt light fixtures for my current system. Feel free to take a look on my page to see what that covers) 250 watt would be more than adequate, and you'd likely be able to get away with what you've got already. Yes, you can supplement with t5s.

Here's a link to my favorite HID fixture. It's compatible with metal halide and high pressure sodium bulbs. (MH is more blue spectrum for leafy greens and HPS is more red spectrum for fruiting plants)

http://www.hydrogalaxy.com/growing-lights/reflectors/sunburst-250w-...

Oh, and Sylvia has a three part video series on grow lighting that's got a lot of good information in it. Here's a link to the first video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8C6-QMekyo

Hey Alex

Thank you for your prompt response.  Aree you saying that with the 175 Watt HID light I currently have I would to be able to grow both peppers and tomato's and they would successfully grow fruit?

Hmm, I think it would be adequate if you're using high pressure sodium bulbs. You can always supplement with some florescent light fixtures if need be. Especially if your canopy ends up being too thick, you can hang the florescents vertically on the sides or even lower them into the middle of your plants. Whatever ends up being the most cost efficient. If you do decide to upgrade, I'd go with the 250w, not the 400w.

I'm assuming your system is fairly new...it may take some time to get fruits regardless of your lighting situation. If your system looks like your pictures, I'd say you've got some time to make decisions about what you want to do. For sure the 175w will be adequate for a while. If you end up feeling like you need something stronger, make the investment.

I've started using LEDs and I gotta say: I love it. The fixtures are super expensive, but I'm getting really good results and they cost next to nothing to operate.


Chris Havens said:

Hey Alex

Thank you for your prompt response.  Aree you saying that with the 175 Watt HID light I currently have I would to be able to grow both peppers and tomato's and they would successfully grow fruit?

Hey Alex


I was thinking about low-balling these people and offering them $200, tell me what you think!

http://charleston.craigslist.org/grd/4200499752.html

I don't know what the model is, but that's not a bad deal....

Chris Havens said:

Hey Alex


I was thinking about low-balling these people and offering them $200, tell me what you think!

http://charleston.craigslist.org/grd/4200499752.html

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